Simon Schama’s The Face of Britain

The historian joins forces with the gallery's curators to create five temporary displays within its permanent collections.

Simon Schama at the National Portrait Gallery, London Oxford Film and Television Ltd

Simon Schama at the National Portrait Gallery, London

The collection is usually presented chronologically, but Schama's chosen portraits have been redisplayed according to themes; Power, Love, Fame, People and Self. It means that, uniquely, works from across different periods are shown alongside one another for the very first time.

Sir Winston Churchill and Baroness Thatcher sit with Elizabeth I in Power, while Rossetti and Jane Morris are joined by John Lennon and Yoko One in Love. Francis Drake meets Amy Winehouse in Fame, and a self-portrait room combines traditional renderings by Sir Joshua Reynolds and William Hogarth with Marc Quinn's head sculpture made from his own blood.

The display coincides with Schama's new BBC series and book with the same name.

Venue details

National Portrait Gallery St Martin's Place London WC2H 0HE 020 7306 0055

Entry details

Free to all

Sat – Wed, 10am – 6pm
Thu – Fri, 10am – 9pm

Closed 24 – 26 Dec